The government has announced that the University of Southampton is to receive the prestigious Regius Professorship in Computer Science.
The Regius Professorship has been awarded to 12 top university departments in the country to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee last year. It was reported in 2012 that six new positions would be created, however the high quality of applications have led to doubling the final figure.
The Regius Professorships have been awarded by monarchs since the 16th century exclusively only to ‘ancient’ universities, up until now. The main aim of the scheme is bestow prestige and raise the profile of outstanding qualities of teaching.
Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Dean of the Faculty of Physical and Applied Sciences and former Head of Electronics and Computer Science at Southampton said:
“This is a fantastic honour for us. It pays tribute to the many people who have supported the development of Computer Science at Southampton over the years including Vice Chancellors, Heads of Department and the many amazing academics, researchers and students who have contributed so much to enable us to obtain the world-leading position we are in today.”
The addition of 12 new professorships increases the number of institutes to hold the position from seven to 19. Applications were competitive and have been awarded on the grounds of department excellence in research and teaching. Only two professorships have been awarded in the last century, both to the University of Cambridge.
Amongst other institutions who have received the award are: Imperial College London, London School of Economics, Royal Holloway, Kings College London, University of Dundee, Manchester University, University of Essex and Reading University.
The creation of Regius Professorships falls under the Royal Prerogative, and each appointment is approved by the Monarch on ministerial advice.
The title will be given to an existing professor in the department.